Why do I go to parkrun ? eve of 100th run

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A family of milestone t shirts !

This Saturday will be my 100th parkrun.

One of those was at Dalby Forest, 99 of them at Sewerby.  I ran my first parkrun on 9th June 2012.  I completed 6 runs in 2012, 4 in 2013, 8 in 2014, 43 in 2015 and 38 so far in 2016.  I’ve also volunteered 6 times.

As you can see the first three years I was not a regular !  But why do I go pretty much every single week now?  The only time I miss parkrun is if there is something else completely unavoidable on a Saturday morning.

I love it !  I love the run, the friendships I’ve made and the whole atmosphere.

As someone who doesn’t make friends particularly easily, that has been a lovely side of parkrun to experience.  Recently something happened that was a great example of this.  Another runner at my parkrun posted on fb ‘It’s a long shot, but would someone run with me on Saturday’.  This person is struggling a little bit with confidence since a break from running.  Well, we all needed to form a queue there were that many offers!  And as one pointed out ‘not such a long shot’.

How nice for that person that lots of people wanted to run with them.  But also, from my perspective – I offered to join them.  Why is that such a big deal?  My lack of confidence used to stop me offering because why would someone want my company?  Why would I think I could help in any way?  People wouldn’t choose to spend time with me.  I still struggle with this at times, but the fact that I offered is a big step forward.

In 2015 my OH started to join me at parkrun.  This makes it so much easier to keep the commitment.   Particularly when the alarm goes off on a dark Saturday morning in the middle of winter!

This year my teenage son has also been regularly running.  A change in his routine means that he can now come with us once a fortnight.  I’ve loved being able to do parkrun as a family but more than that, my son has been brought in to a larger family – my parkrun family.  He is developing new friendships of his own, learning how to talk to people of all ages and backgrounds.  Social skills which will help him for many years.  He has also given up his time to volunteer on a few occasions – a great thing to do.

As a mum, for your child to be accepted and encouraged by others is a wonderful thing.  To see his confidence in his own ability grow.

Other runners have encouraged him along the route including several times running the rest of the course with him to help him achieve times he didn’t think he ever could.

When he started running he would tell himself he couldn’t achieve a faster time, couldn’t continue to run because he was too out of breath / legs were like jelly / something hurt too much.  Now, he will tell himself that he can go faster, than he can run despite breathing hard, despite jelly legs and that sometimes the hurt is good – it is the hurt of pushing yourself.

This is a huge reason to continue to go to parkrun – not just for myself, but for my loved ones.

The picture with this post is of me with my other half and son – all with our milestone t shirts on.  I LOVE this picture !

Do you do parkrun regularly?  Why do you go?

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